The Instructor was originally published as JUVENILE INSTRUCTOR, from 1866 to 1929. At first a children's magazine, it became the official publication of the SUNDAY SCHOOL of the Church in January 1901. As its pages gradually filled with articles on teaching methods and gospel subjects to be used by the several Church AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS, especially the Sunday School, its name was changed to The Instructor in November 1929, better to reflect its content.
The Presidents of the Church were identified as editors of the magazine from 1901 through 1970, but coeditors were often largely responsible for its contents.
The Instructor ceased publication in December 1970, when the Church consolidated its English language magazines into three: ENSIGN, for adults; NEW ERA, for youth; FRIEND, for children. Some of the instructional materials for teachers previously published in The Instructor are now published in the lesson manuals of the Church.